Monday, January 26, 2009

Before and After

In my shop, there was a mannequin, who very helpfully displayed various necklaces. We would change her shirt with the seasons, and match her jewels accordingly.

But I got tired of looking at her, and decided to make a change last week.

Hobby Lobby, one of my favorite places, put all their floral stems and other flower-arranging stuff on sale @ 50% off last week, and I decided to put together this flower arrangement. It turned out to be much bigger than I had anticipated when I was buying all the stems, and when I looked for a place to display it in the store, the perfect spot was where Ms. Mannequin had been, so I decided she just had to go. I put my flowers there on a cute little table. I put a beautiful art glass fountain below it, and now I have the peaceful sound of trickling water all day.
And if you look closely, you can see my gold spiral necklace on the black wicker bust display.
I love the new look!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This is STILL bugging me.

Can anyone explain this to me? Maybe I just missed something, though I don't think so.

I previously blogged about seeing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - I think I actually saw it on the day it opened. Anyway.....

One scene in the movie just really bugged me, and I still can't figure it out, and I'm wondering if anyone else is scratching their heads over this, or they just write it off to "movie magic", or "poetic license", or just what exactly did I miss...

So, after taking the briefest of glances at the Baby Benjamin's face, Benjamin's father grabs him up when the infant is only a few minutes old, wraps him up and never looks at the kid again, and dumps him on a doorstep.

Then, sixteen or however many years later, this bio-dad spots much older, and extremely physically altered Benjamin, NOWHERE NEAR the place where he dumped the infant, and yet he instantly recognizes him as his son? The now grown man who in NO WAY resembles that infant the father last saw, for all of 3 seconds, years and years earlier?

No way.

Someone please explain this to me, or agree that I am right to be bugged by this.

Not that this was the only thing about this movie that bugged me - but this was my major issue.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Blizzard of Aught-9

So, as I said yesterday, there was a 60% chance of snow overnight, and I planned to get up early, as these events tend to not stick around too long in this area.

And I actually DID manage to get up a little earlier - around 7:30, and I headed outside in my bathrobe with Bailey, and look what I saw:

The snowflakes were as big as Bailey's soccer ball!


Be afraid, people - be very afraid!

Well, OK - this is what I really saw: a light, extremely light, dusting of snow, and some scattered flurries blowing around.

The sun had just come up, and while this truly is an usual sight for this area, there was so little accumulation that Bailey didn't even notice it.

But our crack emergency preparedness teams did - and they actually cancelled school for the day, and many other scheduled activities. Good grief.

There was less than 1/8 inch accumulation on the ground, by my estimation, and absolutely no accumulation on roadways.

And it wasn't snowing even anymore.

And by the time I left for work at 9:15, what little bit HAD accumulated, was gone.

What a freakin' fantastic snow day those kids must have had!

But my super-cool camera has this really neat feature - let me show you!

It has one setting where if you press the shutter button once, it will take 2 consecutive, almost simultaneous shots - one in natural light, and then one with flash.

So this is the first shot I took of my deck -- natural light.....

And this is the shot immediately afterward, with flash -

It makes it look like nighttime - and look how those snowflakes pop!

This is a picture of a tree that blew down in my yard about 6 weeks ago, that I am too broke to have hauled away....

And this is the same shot a nanosecond later -

I just think this camera feature is the coolest thing ever.

Of course, I don't get out much, either.

So this picture shows the massive snow accumulation in Aiken that led to school closings and public panic.

And believe it or not, the local TV station I am watching right now is running promos for their lead story @ 11PM: "How Your Friends and Neighbors Handled the Snow, Tonight at 11".



What snow - there was ZERO accumulation in Augusta, less than 1/8" here in Aiken, and it was all gone by 9 AM, other than some off-and-on flurries up until about 2 PM. Flurries, people - that is not snow, nor is it something that needs to be "handled".

And yes, WJBF, I am talking to you.

And yes, this is my fourth blog post in four days - surely this must be one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Yesterday's Wire-Wrap Class

So, we had a great, great wire-wrapping class at my bead shop yesterday.

The class was supposed to be an earring class, and this was the
first pair we made:

This is my pair - it's a mixture of sterling silver and gold fill - the circle is silver, the curved dangles are gold, and the beaded dangle has a mixture of gold and silver beads.

This is the pair made by another student - she also mixed sterling and gold-fill, but she twisted the sterling for her circle, which looks great!

This is a really versatile pattern, and a lot of fun, and pretty easy, so I look forward to having some free time (HA!) and making a few more pairs.

This is a bracelet I made in one of our wire-wrapping classes last fall. I love this bracelet - it is also a mixture of sterling and gold-fill. I love it's simplicity, and it is so comfortable, and I wear it almost everyday.

So, we (I) decided that the second pair of earrings we would feature in yesterday's class would be a pair to match this bracelet.

This is how they looked early on in the process.

And this is my finished pair.

Perfect match for my bracelet!

And because I have such a fabulous wire-wrapping teacher (thanks, Daniel!) I had convinced and cajoled him into also teaching the matching ring yesterday, so this is my finished ring:

None of my projects from yesterday have been tumbled yet, so they will look even better once I tumble them tomorrow.
I don't know why I continue to be amazed that all these things look so great and match so well - that's the whole point of the classes, after all... but I'm still so thrilled and surprised when my new projects turn out.

And I am grateful that I have found such a talented and patient wire-wrapping teacher for the shop - everyone always learns a lot, and has a great time, and is so thrilled with their projects!

It is actually supposed to, maybe, snow here tonight.
60% chance.
That's about a 61% more chance than usual - the last time it snowed here was about 10 years ago. We actually got 3 inches that time, and it stayed around for a few hours. It just warms up so quickly here in the afternoon, that any snow we ever get, never lasts.
I think it has snowed here twice since I moved here in 1989.
Of course, dogs love the snow, and I wish/hope that there will be some snow when I get up in the morning, so I can go out with Bailey and enjoy it. Instead of getting up at my usual
8:45, I am going to set the alarm for earlier, just in case. Because I have to leave the house by 9:20 to get to the shop in time to open by 10AM.
Why can't it almost maybe snow on my day off - which is today???
I moved away from Indiana because I hated the snow and the cold (and a bunch of other Hoosier-related stuff), but I wouldn't mind one snow day every year or so!
And I have blogged 3 days in a row now, which I think is one of the signs of the Apocalypse, though I could be wrong.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just a Quickie Tonight

Made you look! Ha!

Here are some shots from the wire-wrapping class we had at my bead shop today.

That's my seat at the far end of the table, with my ab-fab Lindstrom tools, and my coffee cup.

This pic is taken from my end, and that's the teacher down there at the other end - he is just the best! He is so patient with all of us, and so skilled and knowledgeable.

And FYI - he cut his finger last weekend while pruning the shrubbery at his house - NOT while wire-wrapping!

So, we made 3 projects today - 2 different pairs of earrings, and then a ring.

And those will be the subject of my next post.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Really Cool Day!

And I don't just mean the temperature outside!

Yes, it was 16 degrees this morning, but it rose to 26 before I left the house, and it actually felt pretty nice, and was a gorgeous day - brilliantly sunny.

I went to Kroger ( I would literally, and I do mean literally, rather have a root canal than go to the grocery store; but when you're out of food, you're out of food...) and then I headed over to the Martinez post office, which is not far from the bead store. I had to ship out the latest item to sell from my new Etsy Destash Shop! I am loving the destashing business...

Anyway - these acrylic risers are just great for folks doing craft shows and other venues where you need too display lots of stuff in a small space, for maximum visibility. The lovely folks at JB Soaps purchased 2 of these (thanks!) - and I still have a few left, if anyone is interested.

Then I headed over to the shop, stashed my groceries in the fridge until I could take them home after work, and opened up the store.

Within a few minutes, a customer came in and said she was looking for a couple of beadcaps, and just wanted to browse around. About an hour later, she was ready to check out, and when I got to the register, she had brought up the 2 beadcaps, and this necklace:

She said that she had been looking around the store for ideas, but that this necklace was prettier than anything she could have thought up, so she just wanted to take it home with her.

What a great compliment!

This necklace had been in my Etsy shop for a while - it is (to me, anyway) just absolutely stunning, primarily because of the gorgeous handmade lampwork beads provided by Amy, of AKD Lampwork. Check out Amy's beads - they are unbelievable! Plus she is a really nice lady!

You just don't know how this made my day - I felt so appreciated, plus business has been super slow since the holiday season ended, so this sale was extra-appreciated.

Isn't it funny how the need for 2 beadcaps led to this?

We have a wire-wrapping class tomorrow at the shop. The projects are 2 completely different styles of earrings, and a ring to match one of the earrings - should be a lot of fun.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everybody!

As usual, I "rocked out" at home with some champagne and some TV.

I am SUCH a party animal.....

And speaking of party animals, Bailey, of course, was my date for New Year's, just like every year - and just like every other New Year's Eve, he spent it in my bedroom closet.

Bailey is absolutely terrified of fireworks, and I have the world's WORST next-door neighbors, who find it impossible to "celebrate" any occasion without throwing a big ole shindig in their driveway (which is right outside my bedroom window) - complete with a keg, and a bunch of pick-'em up trucks blasting country music. They all get out there in their lawn chairs and hoot and holler and shoot off fireworks for, and this is no exaggeration - 3 or 4 hours, starting around 11:30 PM.

So Bailey whines for me to open the closet, and then he settles in for the night, refusing to go outside even long after the dreadfulness ends, just in case it should start up again.

Which is not a totally ridiculous notion, because they usually manage to have fireworks left over, some how, and manage another 45 minute or so show the NEXT night.

And these aren't the nice, pretty fireworks you see on TV - just stupid, dangerous noise-making fireworks that keep turning up spent all over my yard, and my roof, and my driveway, for the next few weeks.
And speaking of stupid, what is with this Google-Analytics brouhaha over at Etsy?

What a freakin' mess.
This is a screenshot of the Help Forum from, a few minutes ago - nearly every single thread is about Google-analytics.

When will people (and by people, I mean both Etsy admin AND Etsy sellers) learn NOT to jump on every fast shiny train that speeds by until you're sure it's going where you want to go?

Gotta run - "24" just started, and I have been missing Jack Bauer something fierce!

See ya!